7 Reasons You’re NOT losing weight!

You can follow a plant based diet, yet losing weight could still be a struggle. Let me start by saying this, being a vegetarian or vegan isn’t synonymous with healthy! Ooops there I said it!  I say this because I’ve been there myself. I USED TO be an unhealthy overweight vegetarian for years and I’ve met many people in similar situations who despite eating predominantly plant based foods are struggling to lose weight. Take a deep breath and let’s get real…

1. FAT

Do you add butter to your potatoes? Do you add butter to your rice? Are you drizzling oil all over your veggies? Do you fry your vegetables in oil? Do you go through jars of tahini? Are you mixing nut butters in your porridge and smoothies? Solution: If you’re not losing weight, avoid adding extra fat to your otherwise low calorie, low fat dishes. Invest into non stick pans and use water to saute your veggies. If you’re serious about losing weight, do NOT buy butter or margarine (plant based included) for some time. Trust me you will survive!


These are called energy bars for a reason. They’re supposed to give you energy if you need energy, not to get you through day of sitting around! They are generally high in calories and meant for people who are active and need a quick burst of energy on the go! Solution: If losing weight is your priority, only have these on the days that you workout! Or Workout just so you can have one! 

Reasons you're not losing weight


The amount of sugar in soda and even flavoured waters easily amounts to the sugar equivalent of a chocolate bar or two! This also applies to store bought fruit juices and smoothies (I discuss this in a separate point). Are you adding syrups and sugar to your coffee and tea? Do me a favour and calculate how many hot drinks you have per day, how much sugar you put in and multiply it by 30 (days in an average month) now you see how this adds up! Solution: Flavour you own water with slices of lemon, lime, orange, fresh berries, cucumber. Swap sugar in tea or coffee for pure natural sweeteners such as Stevia. You can read my How to give up sugar post here related to losing weight.


Now, before you start shaking your head, hear me out. If you eat your lunch, then follow with a smoothie to wash it all down, this could actually be one of the reasons why you’re not losing weight! Smoothies are liquid meals and should be treated as that! They’re packed in nutrients but also in calories! Solution: Save your smoothies for breakfast only. This way you can pack loads of nutrients in without worrying about calories as you have to whole day to burn that energy off.  Furthermore, liquid meal is easy on digestion perfect after the night of fasting. Treat smoothies as meals not as drinks!

5. THE “CHEAT DAY” starting on Friday ending on Monday!

You eat healthy all week but Friday comes, you’re ready to let your hair down and start the drinking game!..which then runs into Saturday’s hangover meal, Sunday’s big family dinner, and instead of one ‘cheat day’ you end up binging and indulging for three days! Then you wonder why you’re not losing weight! Solution: Instead of planning a ‘cheat day’ plan a ‘cheat meal’ . ‘PLAN’ being the imperative word! Say to yourself, this week I go out for a meal on a Friday and that’s it. Enjoy the meal with all the trimings and dessert but back on track the next meal. Don’t turn meals into days! 


“But nuts are meant to be good for you!” Yes nuts and seeds certainly are, however, the majority of their calories come in a form of fat!  Eating nuts and seeds is actually the easiest way to put on weight! Be honest, can you stop after having 8 pieces of almonds or cashews? Who actually counts? Well that is exactly where the problem lies. Once you start eating nuts it’s hard to stop and it is easy to go through the whole bag without even realizing! Solution: Buy the smallest packet possible (you know you won’t save any for later so do not kid yourself). Yes it works out cheaper to buy bigger packet but remember your priority is to start LOSING WEIGHT not to win the “economist of the year” award! 

Reasons you're not losing weight


This one is solely for us ladies, as I feel this is not addressed enough. Majority of us get cravings and feel a lot hungrier around the time of the month! You can’t control these cravings with your will as hormones really have mind on their own! What you can do is to PLAN AHEAD! Solution: You know this happens on a monthly basis so plan your treat meals for the worst, say 2-3 days, when the cravings are at its strongest! Instead of having your favourite cake on a random day, save it for the day marked in your calendar.  You won’t feel as if you spoiled your plan because you make it PART OF YOUR PLAN. Same goes for working out. Plan your rest days or less strenuous workouts for those days.

Can you relate to any of these? What is your tried and tested method for losing weight?


  • Andrew says:

    Hi Petra
    Excellent blog very informative. I used to add a lot of butter to my potatoes but since I’ve swapped butter for seasoning (veggie stock cube) I feel a lot lighter. Keep up the good work.


  • pj says:

    Hello Andrew,
    Yes I agree, I use seasoning instead of butter it’s much more flavoursome and without the guilt! I think it’s just a matter of getting used to. Stock cubes are always handy to have! Thanks for sharing, have a great day!
    P xxx

  • Hitesh Karia says:

    Hands up, you got me, the drinking game! Oh and nuts, cashews in particular

    • pj says:

      Hi Hitesh,
      People never seem to count calories in liquids (of any sort) oh and nuts are so tricky, I used to think I needed to eat loads of nuts as a plant based eater but since I started limiting my consumption I feel a lot lighter and even more energetic, I know it may sound like a cliche but you know me what I say I mean. Of course it’s a personal opinion/experience and if you can get away with eating nuts then go for it Enjoy!!! Thanks so much for sharing xxx

  • Hitesh Karia says:

    Feeling lighter and more energetic sounds a fab way to go into spring Petra, your as always inspiring me. Will amend my ways and monitor my progress x

  • Paula says:

    Wonderfully informative post! As a new vegan, these were great reminders for me! Thank you 🙂

    • pj says:

      Hello Paula,
      Thank you so much for your feedback I much appreciate you stopping by! I’m ever so pleased you find this helpful. I really enjoy reading people’s experiences (as well as sharing mine) and hope to learn more about your “vegan journey”! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Kim says:

    Whoa! Reading this I kinda looked around, wondering if you were in the room somewhere (smile). I thought the Cheat Friday that accidentally turned into the Cheat WEEKEND was only me. Glad to know that others also shared this issue. and great tip about the cheat meal. I like that. The Ladies Day suggestion was great. I’ll definitely be using that one.

    Thanks for this post!!

    • pj says:

      Hello Kim,
      Thank you for sharing! Yes we all have those cheat days lasting way longer than 24 hours. Having a cheat meal just makes it more to the point and I enjoy it without the guilt as they say one “bad” meal won’t make you put on weight just as one workout won’t make you fit. I’m so glad you can relate. Have a great day xxx

  • Simona says:

    Great advices what work! You covered it all… I love smoothies , but now I have it for breakfast and not after lunch just to get something sweet after a meal. Little lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Love your website , massive progress . Keep us posted xxx

    • pj says:

      Thanks for sharing! I see it often having a smoothie as ‘something sweet’ after dinner or lunch, although if your weight is not a problem then i say go for it, but if you’re trying to get leaner this needs to be considered. Smoothie for breakfast yes you know what’s right! Thanks for your compliment x

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